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“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.” — Alan Turing

Upcoming Events

The ChatGPT Café– Starting this week!

In partnership with Amherst Information Technology, AILA is hosting a series of pop-up computer laboratories in October and November to offer members of the Amherst community the chance to experiment with the latest version of ChatGPT4. Come join us at various locations around campus to explore and reflect on what the most powerful version of ChatGPT4 can do. The dates for October are listed below, hope to see you there!

  • Thurs, Oct 19 Noon-2p (Frost Café)
  • Mon, Oct 23, 1-3p (Keefe Atrium)
  • Thurs, Oct 26, 4:30-6p (CHI ThinkTank)

AI Virtual Event: The Implications of Generative AI with Scott Alfeld (Tuesday, 10/24 | 7-8p ET)

AILA is shouting out this upcoming event from the folks at Alumni and Constituent Engagement! The Implications of Generative AI is a live, virtual event presented by Scott Alfeld, assistant professor of computer science at Amherst College, moderated by Nick Horton, Beitzel Professor in Technology and Society. Professor Alfeld will share how the rapidly evolving artificial intelligence (AI) technology works, how it is affecting industry and academia, and how students and faculty at Amherst College are engaging with it. Click here for event details and to register.

AILA T-Shirt Submissions- Deadline extended 10/22

Calling all creatives! AILA is hosting a T-Shirt Design Contest, and we want YOUR designs to take center stage. Whether you’re an AI enthusiast or a humanist with a passion for innovation, this contest is for you. Craft a design that captures the essence of Artificial Intelligence in the Liberal Arts and you could be selected to have your artwork featured on our AILA merch! Use this form to submit your design! Prize: $20 gift card and your printed design!

AILA Community Hours

Part of our mission is to offer support and guidance to our diverse community of supporters as they navigate AI Technology and its implications in our lives and work. During our community hours we open our doors to provide individual consultation and assistance.

Our doors are open:

  • Wednesday Evenings – 6:30- 7:30p (Science Building, C211)
  • Thursday Afternoons – 12-2p (Virtually by appointment)

Contact us today if you have questions or projects you’d like to talk through or AI-related concerns you’d like discuss. We’re here to support you!

Please Note: 10/19 Community Hours will be held at Frost Library in conjunction w/ ChatGPT Café

Featured AI News

It’s hard to keep up with all the AI-related News these days, but here are a couple stories that have us thinking and discussing. Let us know what AI News stories have you riveted!

A ‘Green’ Search Engine considers environmental impact of Gen AI Revolution

Ecosia, a Berlin-based search engine funding tree planting, is adapting to generative AI’s influence on the search industry. Traditionally using Microsoft’s Bing, Ecosia is now integrating Google results to stay relevant. Challenges include AI’s environmental impact and legal concerns regarding AI-generated content. CEO Christian Kroll sees potential for promoting green decisions. Read more!

AI tackles artifacts from Mount Vesuvius

In AD79, Mount Vesuvius’s eruption buried Herculaneum, charring ancient scrolls in a villa’s library. Nearly 2,000 years later, using AI, researchers extracted the first word from these scrolls. Two students discovered the Greek word “πορφύραc” (purple) and although the context of the word remains uncertain it may unlock the key to highly valuable undiscovered ancient writings. Read on!

AILA Recommended Reads

Engaging an interdisciplinary community of participants in discussions and activities about AI requires we stay in the know. Here are some of our recommended reads this week!

Deceitful Media: Artificial Intelligence and Social Life after the Turing Test by Simone Natale (Oxford Press, 2021)

This smart and critical work has a lot to offer folx who are interested in considering some of the deeper interdisciplinary aspects of AI. Natale presents not only a digestible and comprehensive history of AI chatbots like ELIZA, but also an incisive argument about the centrality of deception to the “circuits, software, and data that make it run”(1). He asks us all to consider what this reality means for the future of communication and media.

Featured AI Tool

Our AI Mentorship and Tools team are always exploring new uses for AI. Here is their latest discovery. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Tensorflow Playground is a neural network visualization and education tool built on the open-source Tensorflow API developed by Google. To use Playground, simply open the website in your browser and tinker with parameters like learning rate, activation function, and dataset — press play when you’re ready to train! There are several datasets to choose from, an accessible UI/UX and some useful tutorials if you scroll below the main display. Let us know if you make a cool visualization!